Peabody Man Leads Cops on Chase from NH to Mass

Police arrested a 28-year-old Peabody man on Tuesday after he led officers on a car chase from Salem, N.H. into Dracut. He fled the scene of a drug deal and was finally tracked down in the woods in Dracut.

Salem, N.H., police arrested a 28-year-old Peabody man on Tuesday after allegedly breaking up a drug deal and subsequently being led on a car chase over the border in Massachusetts.

During the course of the pursuit, the suspect, Wagnel Luna of Peabody, attempted to hit multiple officers with his car as they tried to stop him, police said.

Luna was charged with multiple counts of drug and motor vehicle violations in both states, along with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (his car) and three active warrants from Massachusetts.

Just before 4 p.m. on June 14, Salem police detectives observed a drug deal take place in the area of Brookdale Road in Salem, N.H. Luna fled the scene in his car and a chase ensued, said police. 

A uniformed police officer on his way home from work heard the call for assistance and stopped traffic on a nearby secondary highway. Police said the officer was in the middle of the road, ordering Luna to stop, which he didn’t, instead aiming his car at the officer.

The chase then headed over the state line into Methuen and Dracut, where Luna again tried to hit police officers with his car. He finally bailed from his car in Dracut after turning down a cul-de-sac. Luna took off into the woods, said police. 

After a two-mile trek over hilly terrain and thick woods, a K-9 unit and several other officers were finally able to track Luna down. He was taken into custody after a brief struggle near Route 110 in Dracut. The K9 also sniffed out $1,000 in cash, which had been stashed under a log in the woods, said police. 

Despite the theatrics of the chase through two states, there were no injuries and only one Salem, N.H. cruiser suffered minor front-end damage.

Back inside Luna’s car, police found “a significant quantity of individually packaged heroin” strewn about. Dracut police took custody of Luna, who had active warrants out on past felonies, along with seizing his vehicle, said police.

Luna is facing the following charges in Massachusetts: a fugitive from justice, possession of a controlled substance with intent distribute, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle), driving after suspension, three arrest warrants, distributing a Class A substance and a motor vehicle offense.

In New Hampshire, he faces two counts of sale of a controlled drug, transportation of a controlled drug, reckless conduct, driving after suspension, reckless driving and disobeying a police officer.

J June 15, 2011 at 06:22 PM
The 3 NH drug charges will get him put away for a lot longer than all the MA charges combined. They don't mess around in NH courts.


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